Jeremiah Newman

1926-1995; b. Drumcollagher, Co. Limerick, 31 March 1926; ed. Drumcollagher, and St. Munchin’s, Co. Limerick, and Maynooth, where he was ordained, 18 June 1950; attended Catholic Univ. of Louvain, Oct. 1950; doctorate, 10 July 1951; studied sociology at University Coll., Oxford, Oct. 1951; appt. Professor of Philosophy at QUB, 1952; Professor of Sociology at St. Patrick’s Coll., Maynooth, 13 Oct. 1953; Vice-President, Nov. 1967; President of Maynooth, Oct. 1968; appt. Domestic Prelate, March 1969; consec. Roman Catholic bishop of Limerick by Cardinal Conway, 14 July 1974; strenuously encouraged formation of Mary Immaculate College (Univ. of Limerick) and building programmes in Limerick; d. 3 April 1995; bur. St. John’s Cathedral; he issued The State of Ireland (1977), a conservative pamphlet on God and Fatherland.

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The State of Ireland
(Cork: Mercier 1977), 126pp.

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Bryan Fanning, ‘Jeremiah Newman and Catholic decline’, in Histories of the Irish Future (London: Bloomsbury 2015), pp.169-86 [Chap. 11; partially available at Google Books - online].

See also James McEvoy & Michael Dunne, The Irish Contribution to European Scholastic Thought (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2009), billed as a timely volume celebrating 100 years of scholastic philosophy at Queen’s University, Belfast.’ (Books Ireland, May 2009, p.206.)

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The State of Ireland (1977), ‘Democracy and Majority Interests’, includes remarks: ‘I have been disappointed by the use which has been made by Dr Garret FitzGerald of a book which I published in 1962, and which sought to show that the special position given to the Catholic Church by the then Article 44 of the Constitution was not incompatible with democratic principles. I do not retreat one whit from the views which I expressed in that book concerning the democratic justification for that article and all that it implied. I do, however, submit that this has nothing to do with the issue into which Dr FitzGerald introduced it.’ (p.38.)


‘The proposition that an overwhelmingly Catholic population should not be deprived of a legal framework which helps them in sustaining their convictions, should not be confused with attributing to them or their leaders a claim to impose their private morals on others. True, it is difficult for anybody whose educational formation has been mainly in fields other than that of philosophy - and who may therefore be less attuned to philosophical distinctions even in the realms of political philosophy - to grasp the validity of this point. But the point remains valid for all that.’ (p.39).

‘On Being Irish’: ‘[…] An Ireland too which in more recent times was to give the United States the founder of its Navy, John Barry and Chile its first President, Bernardo O’Higgins. An Ireland indeed which can also be proud of having given to the city of Chicago its late distinguished first citizen, Mayor Daley. / Nor should we forget its accomplishments in those later days also in the service of Catholic Christianity. I have referred earlier to its work for the Church in Chicago. The fact is that the apostolic endeavours of Irishmen during the last century, not only in America but also in Australia and New Zealand, in India and Africa too, indeed over the entire English-speaking world, were such - ironically - as to conduce to the creation of a spiritual empire abroad within the very framework of the Victorian empire that trod on Ireland at home. A tradition was laid which was to bear immense fruit in the present century in the missionary work of Irish priests and sisters and brothers, work which places our country second to none in the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. / Lest I seem to concentrate overmuch on its Gaelic and Catholic past, may I recall that Anglo-Irish Ireland too has been responsible for the emergence of some of the most illustrious military, political and literary figures that the world has ever seen—Wellington of Waterloo and Montgomery of Alamein, Burke, Goldsmith, Shaw and Synge, Yeats and a host of others. What other country can boast of such riches?/I would ask people to note, however, that the times of greatest accomplishment and forward-looking initiative in Ireland have always been those of greatest stress and travail. (…; 122.)

[…] In truth its periods of disturbance have always been productive periods for Ireland. Which brings me to the Ireland of the present.’ (p.123.)

[…] ‘In the case of Ireland just now there is special need for this, for the kind of concerted involvement on all sides that will bring about a lasting settlement in our country. Thank God, the signs are that this concern and understanding are beginning to have effect and that we may hope that a new Ireland in which sectarian and political strife will be finally buried and in which all Irishmen will live together in justice and peace is about to emerge. / I am sure I will be understood when I express the hope that this new Ireland will remain faithful to the best in the Christian and Irish heritage. There is a great deal of talk in Ireland at present about the need for a pluralist society, which would obliterate all differences between people and put an end to all divisive elements. In many respects this is a most laudable objective. Still, people will understand me also when I say that I hope that such a programme will never saddle our homeland with the kind of secular society that would sell out on the values that our fathers held sacred./One of the most annoying, frustrating and indeed dangerous features of contemporary Irish life is the way in which a self-opinionated and self-appointed minority is striving to force its view on a passive Irish public, on a people who wish for nothing better than to continue to live decent Irish and Christian lives such as they have known and to be afforded the socio-legal framework that will support them in doing so. Certainly the people whom I have met since I returned to Limerick - whether rich or poor - have, generally speaking, no hankering after a secular or internationalist Ireland of a kind that would progressively forget the things of fatherland and of [126] God.’

‘[…] The import of this paper is that Ireland - our Ireland - is a truly great country, historically great and great in its contemporary situation, despite the disturbance and the conflict. This Ireland, a small nation, has proved itself to be an entity to be reckoned with. I am convinced that, small though it is and leaving aside the current world economic difficulties, which will surely pass, our country is due for a distinguished and prosperous future. That future will be all the more sure in the context of political unity. One thing is quite certain. We can be proud of our Irish ancestry. Few countries can boast of a greater impact in the making of our world.’ [End]

(See also under Richard Kearney, supra.)

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